Antioch Police Chief: no knee on Angelo Quinto’s neck by officers, not in custody at time of his Dec. 26 death, releases 9-11 calls

A screenshot of the video taken by Quinto’s family (left) shows an Antioch Police officer attends to Angelo on Dec. 23, 2020. (Right) Antioch Police Chief T Brooks speaks during Tuesday’s press conference. Source: video screenshot

“At one point, during the handcuffing, for a few seconds an officer did have his knee across Angelo’s shoulder blade…taught at police academies for prone handcuffing,” Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks

District Attorney’s investigation continues

By Allen Payton

Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks held the second of two press conferences in a week, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, about deaths of residents following interactions with police. The latest was about the call police received to the home of Angelo Quinto on Dec. 23 and his death, three days later. Ending weeks of speculation and finally answering numerous questions on the matter, Brooks said that officers did not kneel on his neck during the incident. That refuted numerous Bay Area and national news stories that were based on the words of Quinto’s family and their attorney. In addition, the chief said Quinto was not in police custody at the time of his death on Dec. 26, refuting claims by some Antioch council members and local protesters.

Screenshots above and below of Quinto family call with APD Dispatch on Dec. 23, 2020.

Following are the chief’s prepared remarks he provided, today: (see video of press conference posted by

“On December 23, 2020 at approximately 11:10 PM, Antioch dispatch received a call from a woman screaming the address to an unknown disturbance in the 1900 block of Crestwood Drive in Antioch.  I will play the 9-1-1 recording for you now: (download recording here)

  • First Recording (9-1-1 Call)

Our dispatcher called back, and this is that recording:

  • Second Recording (9-1-1 Call)

Now listen to the recording of the initial radio traffic that went to our officers, Nicholas Shipilov, Arturro Becerra, James Perkinson, and Daniel Hopwood:

  • Third Recording (Radio Traffic)

Officers Becerra and Perkinson arrived on scene at approximately 11:12 PM to find Angelo Quinto being actively restrained by his mother on a bedroom floor of the home.  The officers requested Angelo’s mother to get off Angelo so they could detain him in handcuffs.

According to the results of a preliminary investigation, at one point during the handcuffing, an officer did briefly – for a few seconds – have a knee across a portion of Angelo’s shoulder blade. This is a common control technique taught at CA POST approved Police Academies for prone handcuffing.  At no point did any officer use a knee or any other body part to gain leverage or apply pressure to Angelo’s head, neck, or throat, which is outside our policy and training.

One of the officers then repositioned to control Angelo’s legs as his legs were actively thrashing around.  At that time, the other officer on scene spoke to Angelo’s mother to determine his medical history.

Officers determined Angelo was suffering a mental health crisis and summoned an ambulance at approximately 11:16 PM.  Based on the nature of the call, two other APD officers arrived on scene around that time.

Paramedics arrived on scene at approximately 11:23 PM.  As the medics entered the bedroom, officers recognized that Angelo had become unresponsive and was potentially experiencing a medical emergency.  Angelo was immediately unhandcuffed, and medics began evaluating him and rendering medical aid. (See video of the incident by Quinto’s family WARNING: Age restricted)

While CPR was in progress, officers notified an APD supervisor via radio of the situation at approximately 11:29 PM.  Angelo was transported to an area hospital at approximately 11:30 PM.

To ensure transparency, impartiality, and public confidence in the investigatory process, and out of an abundance of caution, the Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incident (LEIFI) Protocol investigation was initiated, whereby the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office lead an investigation into this incident.

Ultimately, Angelo was admitted into the intensive care unit of the hospital where he remained under their care for approximately three days before we were informed of his unfortunate passing.

I have been in contact with the Coroner’s Office and the following four points have been jointly approved by multiple pathologists related to their findings thus far:

  1. Although the decedent had injuries consistent with a struggle with his family and law enforcement, none of the injuries appeared to be fatal.
  2. There were no fractures of the skull, torso, or extremities.
  3. A full examination of the neck revealed there was no evidence of strangulation or crushed airway.
  4. They are currently expanding toxicology testing because they were aware of reported past drug use.

As you may already be aware, in Contra Costa County, anytime there is a death related to law enforcement, there is a Coroner’s Inquest.  This is a public hearing in which the facts and circumstances of the incident are provided by the officers and specific eyewitnesses.  Additionally, this is the venue for the medical examiner to provide insight into the medical cause and manner of death.  That hearing has yet to be scheduled.

Additionally, and separately, this case will also undergo an independent third-party administrative investigation to determine if there was any violation of departmental policies.

On behalf of myself and the men and women of the Antioch Police Department, I would like to express our deepest sympathies to the Quinto family for their devastating loss.”

Informing of Mayor and Council About Incident

At last Wednesday’s press conference on the in-custody death that occurred early that morning, Brooks was asked by this reporter if he had contacted Mayor Lamar Thorpe about the incident with Quinto and his subsequent death, at that time. Brooks responded that he was on vacation at that time. When asked if someone from the department had contacted the mayor he responded, “yes.”

Thorpe, who spoke at that press conference refuted that and said he had learned of Quinto’s death on social media the first week of January. Brooks was asked by the Herald to provide documentation of when the mayor was contacted and by whom.

In today’s press conference in response to another question about it, Brooks said “I spoke to the mayor on Dec. 31st, about this. I believe there are additional records on this.”

However, when asked about what Brooks said about informing him, Thorpe responded emphatically, “I inquired to the chief if there was an in-custody death after I read about it on social media. That’s the conversation he’s referring to when he said he spoke to me on Dec. 31st. I said it was the first week of January, for which I apologize for getting that wrong.”

“The police department did not inform the council and did not inform the mayor and that’s why we’re going to have new protocols on when the chief will inform the council of major events,” he added.

Brooks responded, “I believe that is correct. I don’t know how he heard about it prior, but he did call me and ask on that day.”

The DA’s investigation is still not complete.

Family’s Attorney Makes False Claim About Police Cameras

As reported by other news media, the family’s attorney, John L. Burris said during a February 18 press conference, that Antioch Police failed to turn on their body cameras and police car dash cams. That’s in spite of the fact the department has neither, currently. Those were the subject of last Friday night’s special council meeting in which all five council members voted to support both. A final decision will be made to approve the purchase of cameras at a future council meeting.


the attachments to this post:

Quinto family Call with APD Dispatch 122320 screenshot 2

Quinto familly call with APD Dispatch 122320 screenshot 1

Angelo Quinto & APD officer 122320 & Chief Brooks PC 030221 video screenshots

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